Tag Archives: Zhevra

And Quiet Flows the Maraudon

I have to come up with a new title scheme for these posts about revisiting instances, as I tend to fall back on “Return to N,” where N represents a dungeon we have done before on the alliance side of things.  See last week’s post, Return to Zul’Farrak.

This week the post is about Maraudon, and as you can see, I latched onto the “don” at the end of the name when looking for a title.  Other, alternative titles were:

  • Maraudon Pardo
  • Maraudon Juan
  • Maraudon Quixote
  • Maraudon Ameche
  • Maraudonnie Brasco
  • Maraudonnie Darko
  • Maraudonnie and Marie
  • The Last Maraudon
  • Unagi Maraudonburi

And with all those (and more) to choose from, I decided to go the obscure route.

Maraudon, like Uldaman, has a good chunk of its quest content out and around the front of the instance rather than inside.  That meant getting a couple of us to Shadowprey Village to grab the flight point and then move to the meeting stone to bring people in.

Hurmoo and Azawak riding to Maraudon

You can see that Hurmoo has a new mount there.  I realized that I still had a referral zhevra left over from getting my friend Xyd hooked on the game for a while.  I decided that Hurmoo would benefit most from a new mount.  The poor zhevra looks a bit overloaded.

Once to the stone we started pulling in people as they arrived and running them to Shadowprey for the flight point and the quests you need to pick up over there. (Most of which you cannot share.)

Hanging out by the meeting stone

Once there, the team was:

44 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
45 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
45 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
45 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
45 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

As you can see, the instance runs once a week are moving us right along when it comes to levels.  I’m not sure we’ll be level 80 before Cataclysm comes out, but we might well be in Northrend.

Once we collected the quests and went in, we headed towards the orange side.  The idea was to blow through as much of this instance as we could in one night.  Last time around we needed three visits to wrap things up.

Despite being there three times before though, our memories of the place were pretty hazy.  Orange was chosen because it seemed right.

We worked our way around, knocking off Noxxion and finding our way to Lord Vyletongue.

Lord V is in!

That turned out to be the right route, as we then turned about and found our way to Celebras, defeated his possessed version, and knocked off a quest.  That also got us the Scepter of Celebras which turned out to be a nice weapon upgrade for Hurmoo.

After that it was through the turtles, over the falls, and up to Landslide for a quick visit.

Then it was back down and around to the main boss, Princess Theradras.

The Princess on her island

Once a fearsome fight, she did keep us busy for a bit, but the outcome was never in doubt.  And with her death we got the achievement for the dungeon.

Royalty out of the way, we dropped down in into the water below to wrestle with Rotgrip.

Crikey, it's a croc!

Rotgrip out of the way, we climbed out of the water and headed towards our last target, stopping only to say hello to Elder Splitrock who hangs around in Maraudon during the Lunar Festival.

It must get lonely down here

Then it was Tinkerer Gizlock and we were done.  Gizlock was nice enough to drop the Hypertech Buckler, which Earl really wanted about two and a half years ago when we were here.  But since his shaman is the only shield wearer in the group, he got it this time around.

At this point we realized that we had a couple more quests outstanding.  It was nearly midnight by that point and we weren’t keen to go chase down stuff that seemed to be outside the instance, so we decided we would wrap that up next Saturday and then head on to the next destination, Sunken Temple.

My Mom Plays WoW

It is true.

Back in October when all the Hallow’s End fun was starting up in Azeroth, my daughter got very interested in watching me play World of Warcraft.

WoW is, as you may know, a very colorful game.  It is bright and shiny and cartoon-like.  My daughter likes to watch me play now and again, and I even let her run around town with one of my characters on occasion.  But with a Halloween-like atmosphere in the game including costumes, candy, and trick-or-treat, she wanted to run around and play with me.

So I created a trial account for her (via a referral, of course) and got her set up on our iMac.  She already had Skype installed on the Mac. I had put it there so we could talk while we played Toon Town.  So we set up a voice connection and met up in game, me with a fresh character, her with her first character, and went out to play.

We had a good time running around and when my mom called later that evening, my daughter gushed at how much fun we had and how we talked on Skype while we played and so on.

My mother said she had a Skype account, so we went back to the game and conferenced her in and my daughter described what was going on in the game.

The running commentary sounded like enough fun that I got an email from my mother the next day saying that she was going to download the WoW trial on her MacBook Pro so she could come play with us.

And so her journey began.

My mother is not new to computers.  She was working with them long before I bought that first Apple II.

My mother is not new to fantasy.  The first time I read The Lord of the Rings, I borrowed her copy.

My mother is not new to role playing games.  I got her to play D&D at one point.

But a computer fantasy role playing game, that would be new territory.

Of course, Blizzard had to throw in its own complications.

Once my mom signed up for an account, she started the download that would go on and on and on.

Imagine all of the problems you have ever had with the Blizzard downloader, then imagine they all happened to you before you had ever played the game.

Actually, that isn’t too big of a stretch.  That describes my first install and patch experience back in 2005.

But imagine you aren’t used to big downloads of that sort.

The duration of the download, once it was finally complete, after many a false start, retry, and failure, was equal to her 14 day trial period.  Basically, by the time she could play, she was no longer allowed to play.

Okay, it did not take 14 full days to download the software.  But remember, my mother is not a hard core gamer.  Even the idea of “start the download, go to bed, wake up and find it done” wasn’t a consideration until I mentioned it.

She did manage to miss the zombie apocalypse, and event that drove off one of my friends and upset my daughter.

She signed up for another trial account.  This time she used a referral key that I sent her, so our accounts would be linked, we could summon each other, and we would get bonus experience when grouped.

So, on a Sunday afternoon in November, we managed, at last, to all meet up in game and begin to play.

And there the troubles really began.

On the one hand, I had my mother on Skype facing a game like she had never seen before.  All those basic 3D world concepts that so many of us have grown used to over the years… stuff that predates EverQuest, stuff that goes back to early shooters… all that was brand spanking new to her.

How to move, turn, look, fight, see people, talk to people, use the map, buy stuff, sell stuff, wear stuff, compare stuff… all new.

And then how to do more than one of those things at once.  Each task required a full stop and a few moments to figure out what was going on.

Years of gaming has made me assume certain concepts were common knowledge.  My vocabulary is set to exchange information with people for whom WASD is ingrained.

I even had problems there.  My mother is left handed, so she uses the arrow keys.  That is fine, but that meant occasional confusion over what I meant.

Still, over time, the concepts built up.

We would play for an hour on a Saturday or a Sunday, myself, my daughter, and her, grouped up and running around the night elf starting area.  That would wear my mother out.

Of course, having my daughter along, with all the attention span that being 6 years old brings to the table, helped with the wearing out.  staying focused on something like a quest is tough at that age when there is something shiny in the distance or some body of water into which she wanted to jump.

Over time, the her skills developed.

She began playing at other times, when we were not on with her.  She began to roll other characters, to experiment.

She began to get hooked.

Well, she was hooked when she first logged in.  She loved the world.

She eventually downloaded the game to her Acer Aspire One notebook, which is a little more up to date than her MacBook.  Even with the Intel Express video support and the little (to me) 9 inch screen, the game looks good and plays well.

And so, rather than watching the SuperBowl, we spent yesterday afternoon running quests together in Westfall with one of her latest characters.  It was fun and enlightening.  She has been through some of those quests already, so as we worked our way through, she knew where we needed to head and what we were looking for.

Which, if nothing else, meant somebody else to corral my daughter in the right direction.

I got my own little reward for getting her into WoW… aside from having family gaming on the occasional weekend afternoon.  I got the Swift Zhevra mount for the referral.

Thanks Mom!

Thanks Mom!

You get your mount in the mail with the attached letter:

As much as I dislike the whole Nesingwary clan and their quests, I do like the mount!

We did squander the triple experience aspect of the referral though.  Such is life.

But then, it isn’t like the experience curve for the first 60 levels or so in WoW are all that tough to begin with.

My mother is closing in on 20 with her dwarf hunter, he current favorite character, and is eager to get to 30 so she can work on getting a mount of her own.

Zhevra Fever

I am sure, by now, if you play World of Warcraft, you have seen their latest referral incentive program.

With the new Recruit-A-Friend program you can earn an exclusive Zhevra mount, receive a FREE month of game time, and gain access to other exciting in-game benefits. From the moment your friend creates a character and starts playing you’ll both earn triple the experience when grouped together and have the ability to summon one another from anywhere in the world. Also, for every two levels of experience your friend earns, they can grant one level of experience to one of your lower-level characters.

While that is some pretty nifty stuff by way of incentives, they key item, the thing that grabs your eye in all the ads is the Zhevra mount.

Now, I know what my first thought was when I saw this offer, but I wanted to see what other people thought. Plus this will give me a chance to test out a new poll creation tool that actually works with WordPress.com.

And when you’ve answered the poll, run off and read Lore Sjöberg’s “World of Warcraft Masters In-Game Bribery” over on Wired.